Monday, October 28, 2019

We Don't Know

"Doesn't it make you want another one?" she asked me as I cradled my friend's newborn son in my arms at a sip and see. She didn't know.

"Baby fever is strong now, isn't it?" another asked. "Time for another."

She didn't know either. Didn't know that I was more than ready for another. That I had been trying for the last three months. Didn't know that I had literally thought I could possibly be pregnant just moments before, then took a bathroom break only to find my dreaded monthly friend had come to visit- stomping on my dreams and hopes once again. Didn't know that I was currently putting on a good face while crying inside.

She didn't know that the previous month when my period started I had been out of town visiting a friend who told me she was pregnant earlier that day. I'd clumsily stumbled down the hall to the guest bath in the middle of the night, only to see that it would be another month of waiting (at least). I had remained strong, and was truly so excited for her, but when I got home after the trip and told my husband the tears just started flowing.

She didn't know that the month before that I had started my period the day of another friend's baby shower, a shower where someone else had jokingly asked me if I was pregnant when I got a little emotional, and I responded that I was positive I wasn't. But oh, how I wanted to be.

I'm not even going to pretend to feel the pain of those dealing with months, and years, and decades of infertility or trouble getting pregnant. My four months trying to get pregnant with our second child totally pale in comparison to those sweet ladies, and I'm certainly not trying to say my experience is equal to theirs. My heart breaks for them in their struggles, and in the seemingly innocent words that people say to them, not knowing how they stab like daggers into the heart of a longing, hurting woman.

I will say that those months of negative pregnancy tests and unwanted periods still hurt. But they also gave me a fresh perspective and extra compassion for those amazing, strong ladies who keep marching on each and every day, loving their husbands and their families well in the midst of such a personal struggle that is often kept secret.

After getting pregnant the first month of trying for our first, I had such a skewed view of how it all worked. I am so so grateful for the sweet little one that grows inside of me right now (and I certainly believe in the perfect timing of someone much greater than me). But I think I appreciate it even more now that I know how it can go. That sometimes there is a longing that isn't met for a very long time (or hasn't been met at all yet). That sometimes people are fighting battles every day that go unspoken. Yes, it is wonderful to be in a position to share these struggles out loud with close friends and family, and I truly believe that sharing our struggles has a purpose and can offer some healing and support. But not every situation should be public, and we should be very careful sharing our words when we simply don't know the situations that people are in.

We don't know what troubles people are going through, even when they're putting on a happy face. We don't know the pain that some are feeling, which we may be opening up again with our words. We don't know the longings of those who are in a season of waiting, whatever that may be for.

And so, we should think more carefully about what we say and ask, how we approach topics (especially pregnancy or children), and how we choose to share our experiences- even with the best intentions. Because we just don't know.



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